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The Inside Story of Matt Taibbi’s Departure From First Look Media

This is a shame, because I was really looking forward to Taibbi’s Racket, which he envisioned as a modern-day Spy magazine. But it’s no wonder Taibbi bristled under these First Look guys:

Taibbi and other journalists who came to First Look believed they were joining a free-wheeling, autonomous, and unstructured institution. What they found instead was a confounding array of rules, structures, and systems imposed by Omidyar and other First Look managers on matters both trivial — which computer program to use to internally communicate, mandatory regular company-wide meetings, mandated use of a “responsibility assignment matrix” called a “RASCI,” popular in business-school circles for managing projects — as well as more substantive issues.

The lack of autonomous budgets, for instance, meant that in many cases Omidyar was personally signing off on — and occasionally objecting to — employee expense reports for taxi rides and office supplies. Both Cook, The Intercept’s editor-in-chief, and Taibbi chafed at what they regarded as onerous intrusions into their hiring authority.

You start talking about “mandatory responsibility assignment matrixes” and I start counting my lucky stars that I don’t have to deal with shit like that.

Thursday, 30 October 2014